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Does Who Teaches Matter?

All the students love her!

We would like to believe that the secret to student success is simply an effective teacher, an educator with the knowledge, experience, and motivation to get any child to learn.

A recent study from Texas A&M University shows, though, that there may be more to it than that. As Quartz recently reported:

two economists from Texas A&M University report that schoolgirls do even better than their male counterparts when they are taught by female teachers. Specifically, the authors found a significant change in female test scores in math—long considered the last bastion of male educational dominance—when taught by a woman instead of a man.

From ERCA’s own data, we clearly see that men are more interested in STEM (science-technology-engineering-math) careers than women. Other research on the subject have found the same trends. We know STEM degrees and STEM careers are one of the pathways to success in our information economy. But we also know that not enough students are pursuing those path.
Just think about that for a moment. As we look to new ways to get learners—particularly female learners—interested in STEM, these researchers suggest that more female STEM teachers in our high schools could be one of the answers. Female STEM teachers could not only help women improve their STEM skills, but they could also boost their confidence and interest in the topics.

It is an intriguing idea worth continued discussion.

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